Tonight for dinner I made Caramel Pork. This meal was quick, easy, and delicious, so I wanted to be sure to write about it while it was still fresh in my mind.
Before I roasted a pork loin yesterday, I cubed about a pound of it and set it aside for tonight’s dinner. I mention this specifically because it’s one thing I didn’t have to do tonight. I also think it’s a very efficient way to get cubed pork for dinner, as long as you don’t mind eating pork two nights in a row; you only get your hands dirty once this way. I also think it’s cheaper to buy the bigger roast and cut a pound or two off of it to cook later, rather than buy the meat specifically for the meal. I wish I’d started doing this year ago.
Before I started cooking the pork, I made a simple Asian broccoli slaw. I used the seasonings and proportions from the Radish-Squash Slaw (that was supposed to pair with the Caramel Pork, although the recipes aren’t linked online), but just tossed the dressing with a bag of broccoli slaw mix. I hate shredding vegetables, so this was money well spent. I didn’t have cilantro to add.
Once the slaw was made, I started on the pork. It’s made in three steps; first you cook the pork (about 5 minutes), then you add garlic and onion (about 2 minutes), and then you add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes while the liquid reduces. I had time to cut up the onion while the pork cooked, and just had time to grate ginger while the onion and garlic cooked with the pork. I used half broth and half water, and full-sodium soy sauce. I omitted anchovies, and didn’t serve with lime. I didn’t make the rice as suggested, but just served the pork with a few green peas and a little Japanese rice I already had cooked.
This was a pretty good meal. The pork was sweet and a little spicy. The rice and slaw helped to balance the spiciness of the pork, which built up as you ate it. The sauce was good with the rice. I noticed the taste of the sesame oil most while I ate the slaw, but Alex mostly thought it seemed tart (from the vinegar). I don’t particularly like vinegar, personally, but it wasn’t overwhelming in this. It could have used the cilantro, and maybe a little ginger or red pepper if I was serving it on its own.
One of the best parts of making the pork was that the last 5 minutes of cooking time are hands-off; it builds in a little time to clean the kitchen before dinner! The entire meal was very quick to make (thanks to little cutting, using precooked rice, dicing the pork the day before, and using bagged slaw mix), and Alex and I both found it to be pretty satisfying. I’d definitely make this again.
This delicious Asian-inspired dish comes together quickly.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or cooking spray)
- 1 pound pork loin (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- rice (to serve)
Add oil to a medium skillet. Cook pork on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add onion and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened slightly. Serve over rice.
Adapted from Cooking Light